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Poetic Expression

by Kelly Benson & Barb Reinhardt

Welcome to our thematic unit on poetic expression. Since many teenagers think they don’t like poetry, this unit will focus on making the point that poetic expression is within the purvey of everyone in the class, and that in fact they are exposed to poetry in many media forms that they already enjoy: TV shows and music.

The unit will begin with an inquiry into "the contributions and struggles of each contributing variable, including race, class, ethnicity, gender, cultural traditions, and language, to give a more complete picture of the struggles of each group" (Semali, p.89).

The next set of lessons will focus on helping students to reinforce the skills they are learning that will “allow them to negotiate diverse meanings with each reading of the ‘texts’ – readings that discern between the vast (and not singular) range of meanings, the values and paradigms implicit in those meanings, and the questioning of the purposes” (Semali, P.98).

These poems could be interpreted as a vehicle to convey to the audience the truths the poets express. Experiencing poetry is a personal encounter in which the reader makes meaning of the poet’s words in an individual and unique way. This interaction between the author, the work, and the audience is why poetry is so important and can be so moving. The students will have a chance to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge by creating a web site that shows their ability to analyse as well as express themselves poetically.

Semali, Ladislaus. Transmediation in the Classroom: a Semiotics-Based Media Literacy Framework. Peter lang Publishing, Inc., New York, 2002.

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